Building Bridges Program hosts President Kaler

Building Bridges Program host President Kaler

President Eric Kaler 

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, School of Dentistry Interim Dean Judith Buchanan, and Leon Assael, recently named the new School of Dentistry dean effective August 1, were among those in attendance June 1 for a presentation about the Building Bridges to a Career in Dentistry Program.

In addition to a talk by Dr. Naty Lopez, assistant dean of admissions and diversity and Building Bridges program director, former and current Building Bridges participants spoke on the value of the program, which started in 2010 with the help of a $1.9 million federal grant from the Heath Resources and Services Administration.

The program aims to enhance access to care by attracting more students from underrepresented areas and groups with the goal of preparing these students to be accepted into dental school at the University of Minnesota and to thrive once they arrive on campus.

The stories of the high school, university, pre-matriculated and post-baccalaureate students from diverse academic, ethnic, and geographic groups clearly resonated with President Kaler, himself a first-generation college graduate.

“We cannot have the society and the life we enjoy unless we reach across the spectrum of our broad population,” Kaler said. “It is essential to the health of our state.”

Kaler’s appearance coincided with a poster presentation by students in the Building Bridges program.

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